Thursday, June 16, 2022

What Happens When Your Blood Sugar Levels Drop

Not Eating Enough Carbohydrates

Warning Signs That Shows Your Blood Sugar Level Is Dropping

Carbohydrates are a type of nutrient found in foods like grains, starchy vegetables, fruit, and some dairy products. Carbohydrates turn into blood sugar when digested, so they significantly impact blood glucose levels than proteins and fats.

Not eating enough carbohydrates, especially while also taking blood sugar-lowering medications, can cause hypoglycemia.

How Is Hypoglycemia Treated

When your blood sugar levels are too low, eating something made of carbohydrates is key. If you have diabetes, try to keep high-carbohydrate snacks on hand.

The American Diabetes Association recommends that your snack have at least 15 grams of carbohydrates. Some good snacks to keep on hand include:

  • glucose tablets
  • honey or table sugar
  • jelly beans or gum drops

You also can take glucose tablets to rapidly raise your blood sugar if its low. These are available without a prescription. Its important to check how many grams are in each tablet before taking them. Aim to get 15 to 20 grams of carbohydrates.

Wait 15 minutes after eating or taking a glucose tablet, and test your blood sugar again. If your blood sugar is not going up, eat another 15 grams of carbohydrates or take another dose of glucose tablets. Repeat this until your blood sugar level starts to rise.

If your regularly scheduled meal is not for a while, eat a small snack after the low blood sugar episode.

Be sure not to overeat! This could lead to blood sugar levels that are too high.

Tips For Managing Diabetes & Alcohol Consumption

The best thing to do to help manage your diabetes and alcohol consumption is to speak with your doctor. They can give you personalized advice based on your condition and drinking habits.

Here are some tips that can help you manage your alcohol consumption if you have diabetes:

  • One drink per day for women, and two drinks for men, is considered moderate drinking
  • Never drink on an empty stomach, or when your blood sugar levels are low
  • Choose light beer over heavy craft beers
  • Avoid sugary drinks
  • Read the labels and pay attention to the nutritional content for every drink you consume

Also Check: What Are The Warning Signs Of High Blood Sugar

Sleep Impacts Brain Function

Glucose is fuel for the brain. It provides the energy needed to carry out its functions. When youâre sleep-deprived, the metabolic activity in your brain decreases significantly.

Overall, studies state that sleep deprivation has damaging effects on brain functionâparticularly functions such as alertness, attention, decision making, and cognitive processes.

Warning Signs Of Low Blood Sugar

What happens if your blood sugar is over 700?

Hypoglycemia can cause both short- and long-term complications. Know the signs so that you can treat the condition as soon as youre aware of it.

As a person living with diabetes, you know how important it is to reduce blood sugar when it is too high, a phenomenon called hyperglycemia. But blood sugar that is too low, or hypoglycemia, is equally critical to avoid.

Hypoglycemia happens when the amount of blood glucose drops to a level thats too low to sustain normal functioning, says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDCES, who is based in Sparta, New Jersey. In most people, this is defined as a blood sugar level at or below 70 milligrams per deciliter .

Hypoglycemia is common among people with type 2 diabetes, according to a review published in June 2015 in the journal PLoS One. Individuals with the condition had an average of 19 mild or moderate episodes of hypoglycemia per year and nearly one severe episode per year on average, according to the researchers. Low blood sugar was particularly common among those taking insulin.

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This decrease in blood sugar levels can cause both short-term complications, like confusion and dizziness, as well as more serious issues, including seizures, coma, and, rarely, death, according to the American Diabetes Association .

Hypoglycemia is usually the result of a too-high dose of insulin or a change in diet or exercise habits, according to Harvard Health Publishing.

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When To See A Doctor

Dietary changes can help you manage and prevent sugar crashes. However, if youve had surgery or are managing ulcers, you may need to see your doctor for additional treatments.

You should also see your doctor if you continue to have sugar crashes despite dietary changes. Your doctor may check for diabetes or other underlying health conditions.

When blood glucose isnt controlled, it can lead to complications, including:

Food Exercise And Medications Affect Blood

Too little food, strenuous exercise that burns large amounts of sugar, caffeine or excessive alcohol consumption can cause hypoglycemia. Medications prescribed to treat heart problems or high blood pressure, such as beta-blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme agents, also called ACE inhibitors, may mask symptoms of low blood sugar, reports the University of Michigan Health System. Medications, such as quinolones, antibiotics prescribed to treat urinary tract infections, can cause hypoglycemia, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

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Severe Low Blood Sugar

As your low blood sugar gets worse, you may experience more serious symptoms, including:

  • Feeling weak.
  • Having difficulty walking or seeing clearly.
  • Acting strange or feeling confused.
  • Having seizures.

Severe low blood sugar is below 54 mg/dL. Blood sugar this low may make you faint . Often, youll need someone to help you treat severe low blood sugar.

People with diabetes may experience low blood sugar as often as once or twice a week, even when managing their blood sugar closely. Knowing how to identify and treat it is important for your health. Learn how to treat low blood sugar.

What Are The Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia

Exercise Will Not Drop Sugar Levels

Many symptoms can happen when a person experiences hypoglycemia. The sudden drop in blood sugar can cause both mild and severe symptoms. Most people will experience a few mild symptoms.

Appropriate action can then be taken to counter the hypoglycemia. There are also cases where patients experience more serious symptoms. In rare scenarios, these symptoms become life-threatening. When this happens, the patient needs urgent medical care.

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How To Treat Someone Who’s Unconscious Or Very Sleepy

Follow these steps:

  • Put the person in the recovery position and do not put anything in their mouth so they do not choke.
  • If an injection of glucagon is available and you know how to use it, give it to them immediately.
  • If they wake up within 10 minutes of getting the injection and feel better, move on to step 5. If they do not improve within 10 minutes, call 999 for an ambulance.
  • If they’re fully awake and able to eat and drink safely, give them a carbohydrate snack.
  • They may need to go to hospital if they’re being sick , or their blood sugar level drops again.

    Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to lose consciousness.

    What Happens To Blood Sugar While You Sleep

    Itâs tied to whether the hormone insulin, which removes glucose from the blood, is working the way itâs supposed to. Blood sugar levels surge while youâre sleeping, usually around 4 to 8 a.m. for someone with a normal sleep schedule. In a healthy person, insulin can handle the surge by telling muscle, fat, and liver cells to absorb the glucose from the blood, which keeps your levels stable.

    For people who have diabetes or who are likely to get it, insulin canât do that job very well, so blood sugar levels will rise higher.

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    What If I Have Severe Low Blood Glucose And Cant Treat Myself

    Glucagona hormone that raises blood glucose levelsis the best way to treat severely low blood glucose. Available as an injection or a nasal spray, glucagon will quickly raise your blood glucose level. Your doctor can prescribe you a glucagon kit for use in case of an emergency.

    If your blood glucose level drops very low, you wont be able to treat it by yourself. Be prepared to address severely low blood glucose by

    • talking with your doctor or health care team about when and how to use a glucagon emergency kit. If you have an emergency kit, regularly check the date on the package to make sure it hasnt expired.
    • teaching your family, friends, and coworkers when and how to give you glucagon. Tell them to call 911 right away after giving you glucagon or if you dont have a glucagon emergency kit with you.
    • wearing a medical alert identification bracelet or pendant. A medical alert ID tells other people that you have diabetes and need care right away. Getting prompt care can help prevent the serious problems that low blood glucose levels can cause.

    How Can I Be Better Prepared For Hypoglycemia

    Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)  Diabetes Daily

    You can take some steps to be ready for hypoglycemia:

    • Be aware of the symptoms and treat them early.
    • Carry some fast-acting carbs with you all the time.
    • Check your glucose levels frequently, especially around meals and exercise.
    • Inform family, friends and co-workers so they know what do if you need help.
    • Talk to your healthcare provider regularly to make and update your plan.
    • Wear a medical bracelet that lets people know you have diabetes. Carry a card in your purse or wallet with instructions for hypoglycemia.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Hypoglycemia is quite common in people with diabetes. If not treated, it can cause troubling symptoms, and even serious health problems. Fortunately, you can avoid hypoglycemic episodes by monitoring your blood sugar. You can also make small adjustments to eating and exercising routines.

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    Faqs Alcohol Consumption And Blood Sugar Levels

    Does alcohol lower blood sugar in non diabetics?

    Possibly. Alcohol may lower blood sugar levels in non-diabetics if they are in the fasting state . However, as each person is unique, the effects of alcohol on blood sugar levels will vary.

    How long does alcohol affect blood sugar?

    The amount of time that alcohol affects blood sugar levels will vary according to the amount of alcohol consumed, as

    What is the best alcohol to drink for a diabetic?

    Due to the potential effects of alcohol on blood sugar levels, individuals with diabetes face a higher risk of health problems. Alcohol may interact with diabetes medications, and even worsen side effects associated with such drugs. Individuals living with diabetes who would like to drink alcohol should therefore speak with their doctors first. Healthcare professionals can best determine the options available.

    Can diabetics drink whiskey?

    A standard drink of whiskey may not have any serious effect on blood sugar levels. However, it is best to consult a healthcare professional before consuming alcohol.

    A Low Blood Sugar Level And Driving

    You may still be allowed to drive if you have diabetes or you’re at risk of a low blood sugar level for another reason, but you’ll need to do things to reduce the chance of this happening while you’re driving.

    You also need to tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and your car insurance company about your condition.

    For more information, see:

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    Nighttime Low Blood Sugar

    While low blood sugar can happen at any time during the day, some people may experience low blood sugar while they sleep. Reasons this may happen include:

    • Having an active day.
    • Being physically active close to bedtime.
    • Taking too much insulin.
    • Drinking alcohol at night.

    Eating regular meals and not skipping them can help you avoid nighttime low blood sugar. Eating when you drink alcohol can also help. If you think youre at risk for low blood sugar overnight, have a snack before bed.

    You may wake up when you have low blood sugar, but you shouldnt rely on that. A continuous glucose monitor can alert you with an alarm if your blood sugar gets low while youre sleeping.

    How To Treat A Low Blood Sugar Level Yourself

    What happens to your blood sugar when you work out?

    Follow these steps if your blood sugar level is less than 4mmol/L or you have hypo symptoms:

  • Have a sugary drink or snack like a small glass of fizzy drink or fruit juice, a small handful of sweets, 3 or 6 glucose tablets or 1 to 2 tubes of glucose gel.
  • Test your blood sugar after 10 to 15 minutes if it’s improved and you feel better, move on to step 3. If there’s little or no change, treat again with a sugary drink or snack and take another reading after 10 to 15 minutes.
  • You may need to eat your main meal if it’s the right time to have it. Or, have a snack that contains a slow-release carbohydrate, such as a slice of bread or toast, a couple of biscuits, or a glass of cows’ milk.
  • You do not usually need to get medical help once you’re feeling better if you only have a few hypos.

    But tell your diabetes team if you keep having hypos or if you stop having symptoms when your blood sugar level is low.

    Read Also: What Is Good Blood Sugar

    What Causes Blood Sugar To Drop Rapidly Apart From Too Much Insulin

    Clearly, then, too much insulin is what causes blood sugar to drop rapidly. But theres more to it than simply taking too much insulin.

    Skipping meals or eating less than what youre used to will also mean having too much insulin in the body.

    In addition, the bodys sensitivity to insulin can change throughout the day. The greater the insulin sensitivity, the less insulin the body will need. If insulin sensitivity has increased, this will often be due to the combination of exercise and diabetes.

    These are probably the most common reasons for low blood sugar, as the blog post What Happens when Blood Sugar is low? points out. NHS inform gives some other reasons, such as:

    Fasting. Aside from not taking in any carbs for the insulin to displace, fasting can also lead to not having enough nutrients, which can hinder the bodys digestive abilities.

    Similarly, illness can impact the bodys response to glucose. Illness will usually increase blood sugar but it depends on what kind of illness and how your body responds to it which can give low blood sugar. Read more on this topic with Diabetes and the Flu.

    Meanwhile, sleep itself may not lower blood sugar, but you can still get low blood sugar in the night for the same reasons you would in in the day.

    The only difference is that you cant treat it as effectively because youre well asleep. So, do have carbs ready by your bed, just in case. Read more on Diabetes and Sleep.

    What Symptoms To Watch For

    There are several common symptoms associated with low blood sugar. These symptoms arise due to the adrenal glands releasing both epinephrine and cortisol in response to hypoglycemia.

    However, not everyone will experience all of these symptoms, and low blood sugar reactions can change. If you suspect you have low blood sugar, the best thing to do is check your blood sugar to confirm.

    People who have had diabetes for a long time or who have experienced hypoglycemia frequently may develop hypoglycemia unawareness.

    Hypoglycemia unawareness is a diabetes complication where people dont experience the usual warning signs of low blood sugar before it occurs. Up to 40% of people with type 1 diabetes experience hypoglycemia unawareness.

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    What Happens When Your Blood Sugar Drops

    Each and every cell present in the body does need the energy to function properly. But do you know what the main source of energy is? Well, it might come as a surprise to you but it is the glucose that provides your body with the energy it needs to complete its day to day activities.

    Blood sugar is very important and it helps with the proper functioning of the brain, the digestive system and the heart as well. It also helps to maintain the well being of the skin and the vision. But do you as to what happens when your blood sugar drops? Lets read on to learn more about it.

    Before knowing or checking for the symptoms of low blood sugar, it is important to learn about the blood sugar levels as well. When the levels are below normal, it is known as Hypoglycemia. You need to check for the symptoms and then opt for a blood glucose test to know if you have low blood sugar.

    How Do I Treat Low Blood Glucose

    Low carb diet plan free download, diabetic sugar levels ...

    If you begin to feel one or more symptoms of low blood glucose, check your blood glucose level. If your blood glucose level is below your target or less than 70 mg/dL, follow these steps

  • Eat or drink 15 to 20 grams of glucose or carbohydrates right away. Examples include
  • four glucose tablets or one tube of glucose gel.
  • 1/2 cup of fruit juicenot low-calorie or reduced-sugar juice. If you have kidney disease, dont drink orange juice because it has a lot of potassium. Apple, grape, or cranberry juice are good options.
  • 1/2 can of sodanot low-calorie or reduced-sugar soda.
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar, honey, or corn syrup.
  • Wait 15 minutes and check your blood glucose level again. If your glucose level is still low, eat or drink another 15 to 20 grams of glucose or carbohydrates.
  • Check your blood glucose level again after another 15 minutes. Repeat these steps until your glucose level is back to your target range.
  • If your next meal is more than 1 hour away, have a snack to keep your blood glucose level within a range that is healthy for you. Try crackers or a piece of fruit.
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